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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Trustees decline to change portrayal of Islam


FOUNTAIN VALLEY- Schools in the Fountain Valley district will not change the way they portray Islamic history to 7th-graders.

After a long, contentious meeting Thursday night, a unanimous school board declined to go further with a proposal by Fountain Valley resident Steve Jackson that they provide supplemental material to the district's 7th grade social science textbook. Jackson contends the textbook shows a "totally positive view of Islam at the expense of accuracy."

After listening to 18 speakers on the matter, board members said they felt they didn't have the authority to determine whether supplementary material, which had not been state approved, could be used in district classrooms...

Jackson had proposed the materials written by Textbook Alert to be used in conjunction with the state-approved textbook, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourts' "World History: Medieval to Early Modern Times." The material specifically addresses a 55-page section of the textbook regarding Islamic history.

John Shipp, head varsity football coach at Fountain Valley High School, was the first to speak.

"I would like to remind you that many of the students who attend our schools are of the Muslim faith," he said. "Many Muslims have died fighting for this country... Are we now to demonstrate the same intolerance that the extremists demonstrate?"

...Superintendent Marc Ecker addressed the crowd near the end of the meeting.

"Quite frankly, common sense rules today," he said. "Unfortunately what we witnessed today were people that would claim that they're models of this country, but forget what the tenets of the original constitution are based upon and that is the order of law and the appropriate process by which to resolve differences of opinions."

...Islamic activists have strongly objected to the supplementary materials. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the material quoted from the Qur'an, but without context...

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